Nuclear power has long been promoted as one of the tools to mitigate climate change. Japan has always been one of the biggest promoters of this theory and has not only tried to get nuclear power accepted in the CDM, but has also developed its own “bilateral crediting mechanism,” to include nuclear. ECO assumed that Japan would change this position after the Fukushima disaster, so we were taken aback by Japan's intervention in the flexible mechanisms discussion, stating that the CDM should be open to all technologies, including nuclear.
New nuclear power plants require massive public subsidies to go forward – monies that would be much better invested in the development and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The nuclear energy industry has been pushing COP after COP to promote their technology as a tool for carbon reduction, but even a massive four-fold expansion of nuclear power by 2050 would provide at best a 4% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Against the background of the Fukushima tragedy and all the risks inherent in nuclear energy, ECO finds it amazing that countries still keep promoting nuclear energy as a mitigation option. There’s no point in trying to jump out of the climate frying pan by jumping into the nuclear fire. That would be like trying to cure one’s addiction to smoking by taking up crack cocaine. After the massive demonstrations in Japan, and the German and Swiss decisions to phase out nuclear energy, ECO calls upon Japan to become a leader in ensuring the exclusion of nuclear power from the CDM.